The main cause of this type of cancer is the repeated and extended exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from tanning lamps and so it appears mainly in unprotected areas of the skin.

The persons at high risk have fair skin, blond or red hair and blue, green or gray eyes. This cancer appears more frequently after the age of 40.

Although basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads into other body parts lack of medical care can allow for it to spread to nearby tissues and infrastructures.